The company was actually started by one badass woman.
Sure, you’ve heard of Howard E. Butt and Charles Butt. However, Florence Thornton Butt deserves a lot more credit than she’s given. H-E-B all began because she opened a grocery store in Kerrville in 1905 after her husband fell sick. She got a $60 loan (about $1,752 today) to open Mrs. C. C. Butt's Staple and Fancy Grocery. The family lived on the second floor above the store, and Florence would send her sons to deliver groceries. The boys used a red wagon and later a Model T. A replica of the latter is located on the grounds of the company’s headquarters (which is not open to the public, to be clear).
Photo via Instagram / heb